Austin Parks Foundation is spearheading an alliance of residents, park adopters and organizations from across Austin to ask for more investment in Austin’s parks, trails and green spaces in the upcoming bond and the City of Austin’s FY19 budget.
While Austin appears at the top of almost every “best of” list, ParkScore, the Trust for Public Land’s gold standard index for parks, ranked Austin 46 out of the 100 most populous U.S. cities for how well we meet our resident’s needs for parks. Our peers know how important parks are for economic development, tourism, and the health of their citizens, and that’s why we need YOU to speak up for Austin’s cherished public spaces.
Understanding the Needs
Austin has an amazing park and trail system with 300+ parks, 227 miles of trails and more than 20,000 acres of green spaces in the city. Our parklands provide vital green space and wildlife habitat, and keep our environment healthy. Parks and trails are a critical part of our urban infrastructure, but they also have tremendous economic, health, ecological, and educational benefits as well. Unfortunately, annual investments in Austin parks, trails and green spaces are not keeping pace with the needs of a growing city.
Austin currently spends $102 per resident on maintaining and enhancing our parks. That’s less than half of the $208 average the top 10 ranked cities on ParkScore spend per resident. That’s why the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) needs our support.
PARD is doing the best they can with limited resources. The department’s current needs assessment indicates a gap of $700 million for repairs and renovations to the system’s aging parks infrastructure. You can help us advocate for more funding to take care of these cherished public spaces!
How You Can Help
Join our e-mail list for the latest info on how you can speak up for parks. From in-person public hearings to contacting City Council, your voice is a powerful tool for making sure our parks are well loved and well taken care of.
Use your voice to advocate for more park funding on Facebook and Twitter, and by postal mail. A list of each council member’s official social media channels, and their office addresses are linked below.
Our 2017 advocacy efforts started with an ask for a $5M increase to the Parks & Recreation Dept budget. While we weren’t able to secure all the funding we hoped for, we are proud to have made big strides in advocating for our parks. Click below for the full summary of our 2017 efforts, and be sure to join our email list to see how you can get involved in 2018!